Top Picks: The Smithsonian Channel's 'Victorian Rebel: Marianne North,' Rag'n'Bone Man's 'Human,' and more

The OnTheSnow Ski & Snow Report app provides weather reports for more than 2,000 ski spots around the world and allows skiers to weigh in with data, Warren Beatty returns with 'Rules Don't Apply,' and more top picks.

Courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Impressive explorer

The world’s knowledge of many plants is in part thanks to the efforts of Marianne North, who lived during the Victorian Era and traveled to places such as Brazil, India, and Jamaica, painting various plants that she came across. The Smithsonian Channel’s new program, Victorian Rebel: Marianne North, depicts North’s life and the impact she had on the world. It airs March 8 at 8 p.m.

Soul-drenched vocals

Former Brighton care worker Rory Graham, who performs as Rag’n’Bone Man – all hulking, tattooed 6 feet, 5 inches of him – is Britain’s latest musical darling and the 2017 winner of the coveted Brits Critics’ Choice Award after the release of his raw and stirring single Human, which became a surprise hit around the globe. His idol is Muddy Waters, but on his debut full-length album, also titled “Human,” Graham sounds more like countrymate Adele crossed with a large, wounded bear. Every soul-drenched vocal sounds deeply lived, and so very ... human.

Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone

Slope data

Headed out to the slopes? Tap into the experiences of your fellow skiers. The OnTheSnow Ski & Snow Report app provides weather reports for more than 2,000 ski spots around the world and allows skiers to weigh in with data. It’s free for iOS and Android. 

Intriguing documentary

The documentary Off the Rails looks at the life of Darius McCollum, a man who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and whose fascination with transportation has led him to pretend to be a transit worker and drive buses and subway trains. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that the film “does what many good documentaries do. It provides us with a window into the psyche of a person worth caring about.” “Rails” is available on Vimeo, iTunes, and Amazon and is streaming on Sundance Now.


Beatty returns

Warren Beatty returns to the director’s chair with Rules Don’t Apply, which stars Beatty himself as Howard Hughes as well as Lily Collins as an aspiring actress and Alden Ehrenreich as her driver. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that the latter two parts are “charmingly played.” The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Top Picks: The Smithsonian Channel's 'Victorian Rebel: Marianne North,' Rag'n'Bone Man's 'Human,' and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today